Ending Homelessness

June 18, 2004 • Volume 14, Issue 23
Is the problem solvable?
By William Triplett

Introduction

A homeless man in San Francisco holds a sign of the times. The city's new Care Not Cash program lowered payments to the homeless but increased the number of available shelter rooms.  (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)
A homeless man in San Francisco holds a sign of the times. The city's new Care Not Cash program lowered payments to the homeless but increased the number of available shelter rooms. (Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

More than 2 million Americans are homeless during the course of a year, and the number is rising. About 40 percent are families with children, 30 percent are substance abusers, 23 percent are severely mentally ill and 10 percent are veterans. Advocates blame the growing problem on the sluggish economy, Congress' refusal to raise the minimum wage, rising unemployment and stricter welfare-eligibility requirements. The Bush administration declared a commitment to ending chronic homelessness in 10 years and is pressing Congress to pass the Samaritan Initiative, which would provide $70 million for housing and attendant care specifically for the chronically homeless. Critics say the proposal does not go far enough because the chronically homeless represent only 10-20 percent of the problem. Meanwhile, although new research clearly shows that homelessness can indeed be solved, no consensus yet exists on a comprehensive approach to rooting out the causes of the problem.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Poverty and Homelessness
Aug. 04, 2017  Poverty and Homelessness
Jul. 17, 2015  Fighting Urban Poverty
Oct. 10, 2014  Housing the Homeless
Oct. 28, 2011  Child Poverty
Sep. 07, 2007  Domestic Poverty Updated
Jun. 18, 2004  Ending Homelessness
Dec. 22, 2000  Hunger in America
Apr. 07, 2000  Child Poverty
Jan. 26, 1996  Helping the Homeless
Aug. 07, 1992  The Homeless
Mar. 30, 1990  Why Homeless Need More Than Shelter
Sep. 30, 1983  Hunger in America
Oct. 29, 1982  The Homeless: Growing National Problem
Jan. 25, 1967  Status of War on Poverty
Feb. 05, 1964  Persistence of Poverty
Jun. 06, 1956  Pockets of Poverty
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Homelessness
Mental Health